The Sacramento City Council has approved the use of eminent domain to acquire land and the building on it in order to build a new downtown arena.
The California Public Employees Retirement System owns the land and has given its approval for the land to be taken by the City.
But U.S. Bank and a loan-servicing company haven't agreed on a sale price for the old Macy's Men's building. Bryan Wenter is an attorney representing C-III Asset Management. He told the council the city has failed to offer anything.
"Our client has been paying taxes on the assessed property value, which is in excess of $10 million," said Wenter. "And yet they have been offered nothing for their substantial interest."
Councilmember Darrell Fong was one of two members to vote against the motion to take U.S. Bank to court.
"The right to take a necessity, to take property, I do have serious concerns. I've given this a lot of thought and It does not cross a threshold for me to use eminent domain."
But Councilmember Steve Hansen said the city should take the necessary steps legally to secure the property while continuing to try to come to terms with U.S. Bank.
"We do need to err on the side of the greater good and this project and this action we take tonight that I do support is in the greater good of the community."
The motion passed 7-2.
The city will next go to a judge and ask for possession of the property to be turned over to the city. If the city and U.S. Bank cannot come to an agreement regarding the price, a jury will decide fair compensation for the property.
The Downtown Plaza garage entrances at 6th and J and 6th and L are now closed as construction begins on the downtown arena.
People with affiliations to the group Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork have filed notice they will appeal a judge's decision denying a request for an injunction blocking the downtown arena project.
Parts of Downtown Plaza will be demolished Friday to make way for the Sacramento Kings arena project.
The Sacramento Kings have released an updated work plan for the new downtown Sacramento arena than had been released before.
A judge has ruled a lawsuit over a non-binding term sheet between the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings is without merit. But, the judge says the plaintiffs may amend the lawsuit to target the recently-approved arena project.